Many Asians, kneel and prostrate before their elders invoking their blessings. The above down-to-earth photo of Khanittha ‘Mint’ Phasaeng, the beauty queen who won the title Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015, prostrating and invoking the blessings of her 47-year-old mother Orathai Pormaun, a garbage collector, amidst garbage bins, has won the heart of everyone who saw it on the internet.
According to the Bangkok Post, the 17-year-old Khanittha’s parents had separated when she was young and her mother had remarried. Khanittha lived in a 4-by-5-metre shack with five other family members where her mother also stored garbage for separation before sale.
Because of the crowded conditions at her home, Khanittha had to move and live with an aunt. Due to poverty, Khanittha was then adopted by a salon owner named ‘Know’, who sent her to school until she completed primary school or Mathayom 3.
Khanittha adores her mother. She has never been ashamed of her background or what her mother does to earn a living. “What I am today is because of my mother. There is no reason why I should feel inferior because my mother and I earn our livelihood by doing honest work.”
The teenager helps her family by assisting her mother sort recyclables from the trash. She also takes on menial jobs and sells used clothes to help cover household expenses and her brother’s education.
Because she is tall and good looking, some friends suggested that she should enter the beauty contest “Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015” launched by “Exclusive Star“, the Tabloid magazine, which had just celebrated its 3rd anniversary and entering its fourth year with aims to promote gender equality and same-sex marriage.
The aim of this pageant contest with the slogan “gender equality” was to bring all women together in a beauty showdown, whether identified as female at birth or have transformed to be one over the years. The contest allowed the participation of only Thai women and trans-women between the age of 17-25 years, to show off their beauty and talent for a reward. Applications were available from August 29, 2015, at Imperial World Samrong.
Encouraged by her friends, Khanittha decided to take part in this somewhat cut-throat competition.
The beauty pageant, Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 open to both women and Transgenders was held on Friday, September 25, 2015, at the Imperial World Samrong,
When the referee announced Khanittha the winner, she thought it was a dream and wondered how an ordinary girl like herself could have won the title of “Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015.”
Almost immediately after crowning Khanittha ‘Mint’ Phasaeng as Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015, many universities contacted the organizers offering her scholarships. This prompted the organizers to scrutinize her application form. They discovered that Khanittha had lied about her education. She had submitted that she had completed senior high school or Mathayom 6 (Level 12) whereas she has only completed primary school or Mathayom 3.
On Thursday, October 15, 2015, a news conference was held near Khanittha’s house in Samut Prakan province, to end speculation whether she would lose the crown.
Somchai ‘Daisy’ Leknoi, director of Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015, told the press that the contest, held for the first time at the Imperial World Samrong, aimed to provide opportunities to people from all social classes. She said the organizers and the two runners-up held no grudge against her as the event did not limit the gender or education of competitors. Nobody would take away her prizes, but she should not have lied about her education. Somchai Leknoi said, “However, we think she should apologize for her mistake. We just want all candidates to tell the truth, so they do not face any problems in the future.“
Khanittha apologized to Somchai Leknoi, claiming she had no intention of lying about her education; her uncle had filled the application form for her and she had failed to check it before submitting it. She thanked the committee for not withholding her prizes. She said that she would spend the money on her brother’s education.
Khanittha THB 30,000 in cash as part of her prize.
After the win, Khanittha ‘Mint’ Phasaeng has gained advertising, film and television work which she hopes will improve the situation at home, and would continue to help her mother collect garbage for a living.
Easy access to the internet in the current decade has allowed women to start online activism and empower themselves. They use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. The internet allows women freedom to voice their opinions and organize campaigns for equality rights.
On May 29, 2013, three women started an online campaign to take down various misogynistic pages on Facebook that spread hatred toward women. In just one week, the campaigners roused hundreds of thousands of supporters who are part of the “great feminist revival.” The social networking giant Facebook caved into pressure. The campaign succeeded where many previous efforts failed. Facebook took action over contents that celebrated rape and domestic violence.
The following video titled “Woman Empowerment – I will fight back” by Unseen Passage Pictures is an eye opener. It carries the message that if women do not empower themselves, then nobody will.
While many praise the audacity of the young woman there are a few detractors, as expected, with their sarcastic, derogatory remarks. Some even insinuate that the video is a concocted one implying that the woman is an actor with makeup for bruises for the ‘skit’, and lying.
Whatever it is, the video impressed me.
Here is a transcription of the young woman’s rendering of the incident.
I usually don’t talk like this. It’s because my tooth is broken.
Actually, yesterday I went shopping with a friend to Sarojini Market. I love street shopping, but you know how crowded it is.
We were checking out some dresses in a shop. Suddenly, somebody touched me from behind. I felt very uncomfortable. I screamed out of fear and everybody around got to know what just happened.
It was very embarrassing. But that guy was simply walking away with his friends, laughing at me. I thought somebody would catch hold of them; somebody would take an action against them. But everyone was staring at me only as if I had done something wrong. Some people were even laughing. But then, an uncle stepped forward and showed some courage and he said:
“Dear, they are mannerless people. Nobody can do anything about it. They are incorrigible. You better take care of yourself and try wearing decent clothes.”
No. No. I didn’t wear a bikini to go shopping. I was just wearing a jeans and a sleeveless shirt. But, I am just another helpless woman, isn’t it? So, obviously everybody had to judge me only like they always do.
Whenever I am alone at the bus stop waiting for the bus or when I come late from the office and my colleague drops me, when I am with a guy, when I ask for help, or when I wear western clothes, and also when they feel like judging, they judge.
But, I am just another helpless woman. So, I said: “Uncle, it’s okay. I will handle.”
I called the woman helpline and told them my current location. Then, I ran behind them, grabbed him by his collar and slapped him hard. They hit me back. Then, people around came to help me and beat them up badly. You should have seen their wounded faces. They all are behind the bars now charged with ‘Women Harassment’.
Then, I understood one thing that in our country, it is very important to take your own stand. If we didn’t empower ourselves, then nobody will.
Take your own stand. Only we are responsible for ourselves.
Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity… If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior… If non-violence is the law of our being, the future is with women… – Mahatma Gandhi
On March 8th every year, the day originally known as the International Working Women’s Day, people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).
In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th. Two years later, in December 1977, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the role of women in peace efforts and development and urged an end to discrimination and increase support for women’s full and equal participation. To this to effect, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women Rights and International Peace observed on any day of the year according to their historical and national traditions by Member States.
The International Women’s Day 2015 celebrated globally today will highlight the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights. While there have been many achievements since then, many serious gaps remain.
On this day, the focus is on upholding women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and pay greater attention to women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part. The Beijing Platform for Action focuses on 12 critical areas of concern, and envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.
To this end, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is the clarion call of UN Women’s Beijing+20 campaign “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!”
Fergie Duhamel born Stacy Ann Ferguson, an American singer, songwriter, fashion designer, television host, and actress was born on March 27, 1975, in Whittier, California.
From 1984 to 1989, she starred on the TV show Kids Incorporated and was the longest running cast member. Of the total of nine seasons, she starred in the first six.
Renee Ilene Sandstrom, singer and actress is better known by her stage name, Renee Sands on the Kids Incorporated. She, along with Stefanie Jill Ridel, singer, songwriter, and actress formed the music group New Rhythm Generation or NRG (energy). Heather Holyoak and Stacy Ann Ferguson, who would later become known by her stage name Fergie, joined them.
During the years 1992–2003, they performed as the Wild Orchid. In 2001, Fergie left the group.
In 1992, Fergie teamed up with the hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas as a female vocalist and achieved chart success worldwide.
Fergie’s debut solo album was “The Dutchess,” released in September 2006. It spawned six hits for Fergie: “London Bridge“, “Fergalicious“, “Glamorous“, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Clumsy” and “Finally.”
On August 16, 2013, Fergie married to actor Josh Duhamel for almost five years officially changed her name from Stacy Ann Ferguson to Fergie Duhamel.
On September 30, 2014, Fergie released a new single titled “L.A. Love (La La).” This song evoked mixed reviews from music critics. In Time Magazine, Lauren Stampler wrote:
“It’s a pop song that lists off as many random city names it can in approximately three minutes time. A beloved but often unheralded genre, it’s long overdue for some recognition.”
“L.A. Love (La La)” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #97 for the week dated October 25, 2014.
In its second week, the song jumped to #81; third week, #63, where it remained for two more weeks. It then jumped to #41. A week later, it jumped into the top 40 at #36; later it peaked at #27.
On the Pop Songs chart “L.A. Love (La La)” debuted at #39 and also debuted at number 40 on the Rhythmic chart.
As of November 30, 2014, it has peaked at #16 on Rhythmic Songs, #8 on Hot Rap Songs, #24 on Digital Songs and #20 on the Pop Songs radio chart.
Here is a video of “L.A. Love (La La)” with lyrics in English and Spanish featuring American rapper Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson, better known by the stage name YG.
Fergie’s “L.A. Love (La La)” lyrics
La la la la
La la la la
La la la la
La la la la
Mustard on the beat
Uh, tell ’em where I’m from
Finger on the pump make the sixth straight jump from SoCal
Hollywood to the slums
Chronic smoke get burnt by the California sun
On the west side east coast where you at
Just got to New York like a net on a jet
To London, to Brazil, to Quebec
Like the whole damn world took effect to Ferg
Laid back, slow down
Better represent when we come to your town
So lay back, slow down
What you represent when we come to your town
Get in with the business
I’ma be there in a minute
I just booked a Paris ticket
Thinking Russia need a visit
I’ma run it to the limit
And be on my way to Venice
L.A. got the people saying la la la la la
Brooklyn saying la la la la la
Hacienda saying la la la la la
Vegas saying la la la la la
Rio saying la la la la la
Tokyo saying la la la la la
Down under saying la la la la la
Miami saying la la la la la
Every city, every state, every country you know
All around the globe
Every city, every state, every country you know
This is how it goes
Uh tell em where I’m at
From the plaques to the uh uh
Got Mustard on a track
My girls all stack
When I roll down the window, let me know where you’re
Atlanta, North South Cac-ill-ac
Texas grill, Cadillacs through Miami then back
To London, Jamaica then France
The whole damn world took effect to Ferg, tell ’em
Laid back, slow down
Better represent when we come to your town
Laid back, slow down
What you represent when we come to your town
Get em with the business
When I come from Kansas City
Hit manila ’til it’s Christmas
Out to India I’ll visit
Puerto Rico it’s exquisite
Then my people back to Venice
L.A got the people sayin’ la la la
Moscow sayin’, la la la
España, la la la
Kingston sayin’ la la la
San Diego sayin’ la la la
Chi-Town sayin’ la la la
Germany sayin’ la la la
La Puente sayin’ la la la
Every city, every state, every country you know
All around the globe
Every city, every state, every country you know
This is how it goes
Every city, every state, every country you know
All around the globe
Every city, every state, every country you know
This is how it goes
L.A got the people sayin’ la la la
Amsterdam, sayin’, la la la
Frisco sayin’, la la la
Switzerland sayin’, la la la
Sao Paulo sayin’, la la la
Joburg sayin’, la la la
Mexico sayin’, la la la
Stockholm sayin’, la la la
You on that Cali shit
Puff it, feel whatever
You like to like it
We legalizing it
Yes you can join us now
We like to love it
We like to love it
We like to love it
Jeanne Robertson (born September 21, 1943) is a nationally recognized humorist and professional speaker with a thick southern American drawl. Even at 70, she continues to charm appreciative audiences with her humorous observations about life around her. Over the years, the demand for her family friendly brand of comedy has grown exponentially. She infects everyone with her charming personality, and her deep sense of humor.
By age 13, Jeanne reached 6’2” tall signalling that she would soon soar to great heights. In 1963, named Miss North Carolina at age 19, she credits her reign as the catalyst for her career. She toured the state for a year speaking to civic organizations and garden clubs. After graduating from Auburn University, she was a gym teacher for nine years. She became one of the funniest, busiest, most popular, and successful professional corporate speakers. Now she is considered one of the funniest, busiest, most popular, and successful stand-up comedians.
You can hear Jeanne’s anecdotes daily on XM Radio’s Channel 98, Laugh USA and Sirius Radio’s Blue Collar Comedy channel 103 (XM 97) and Laugh Break channel 105.
From where does she get her inspiration?
She bases her humor on real-life situations. Jeanne once said:
“When we look for humor around us, we can find it. I want to weave a story that makes people laugh their head off, but I also want it to be a point to the story. I want people to say, ‘the same thing happened to me’ when they leave the show.”
On April 29, 2008, she spoke at the White House for National Volunteer Week to honor the 1,300 volunteers who donate time to work at the White House.
Jeanne Robertson is an award winning corporate speaker. Among many honors, she was a Speaker Hall Of Fame inductee; the first woman to win the National Speakers Association’s prestigious Cavett Award; the only woman to receive Toastmasters’ International Golden Gavel Award;, and the NCAA SEC and Auburn University’s 2000 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
She has seven nationally released DVDs, three humorous books: “The Magic of Genie,” “Mayberry Humor across the USA,” and “Don’t Let the Funny Stuff Get Away.” She has hundreds of hours on Sirius-XM Satellite Radio’s Family Comedy, and Blue Collar Comedy channels. Jeanne has more than 20 million views on YouTube. Some of her most popular anecdotes are: “Don’t Go to Vegas Without A Baptist,” “Don’t Bungee Jump Naked,” “Left Brain vs. Intruder,” and “Don’t Send a Man to the Grocery Store.”
When Jeanne was in need of some ingredients to make a cake, her husband volunteered to go to the grocery shop. What did he come home with?
Jeanne Robertson is hilarious! Her clean old fashioned humorous depiction of everyday situations never fails to have audiences of all ages rolling with laughter. You will agree with me after viewing this video titled “Don’t Send a Man to the Grocery Store!“
I do not subscribe to any political party. But, when I perceive talent in any form, I will be the first person to endorse it.
Smriti Zubin Irani, a former model, television actress and producer represents the Bharatiya Janata Party and is the incumbent Minister of Human Resource Development of Government of India since May 27, 2014. She is a first time Lok Sabha polls contestant and a first-time minister and the youngest in the Narendra Modi cabinet.
Born on March 23, 1976, in Delhi to a family of Punjabi–Bengali background, Smriti Malhotra is the eldest amongst three sisters. She studied up to class 12 at Holy Child Auxilium School (HCA) in New Delhi and discontinued further education.
Smriti worked as a waitress at McDonald’s before finding stardom in modelling. In 1998, Smriti was one of the finalists of the Miss India beauty pageant.
In 2000, she made her debut with TV series Aatish and Hum Hain Kal Aaj Kal Aur Kal, both aired on Star Plus. In mid-2000, Irani bagged the lead role of Tulsi Virani in Ekta Kapoor’s production Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi on Star Plus. She holds the record of winning five consecutive Indian Television Academy Awards for the Best Actress (Popular), four Indian Telly Awards, eight Star Parivaar Awards.
In 2001, Smriti married Zubin Irani, a Parsi.
Smriti Irani is a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat and is now widely acknowledged in the BJP as a key member of Narendra Modi’s inner circle.
In her message to the Subject Toppers of Senior School Certificate (Class XII) Examination, 2014 conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi, posted on the website of the Government of India Ministry of Human Resource Development she said:
I congratulate all the students of CBSE who have excelled in their schools, districts and States in different subjects.
I applaud those who have worked hard and have got good results which make them and their families proud.
Examinations, marks, and above all values and Character in life, are the means to move forward and achieve progress
I wish all the students success in achieving their dreams in whatever walk of life they find joy and fulfilment and thereby contribute to a healthy, harmonious society and a strong nation.
But, there is something to be said about Smriti Irani’s own education.
Congress leader Ajay Maken questioned Smriti Irani’s credentials to lead the HRD ministry which oversees the country’s education system including the prestigious IITs and IIMs. Hitherto, the portfolio had always been held by a person with high academic qualifications. Maken tweeted: “Smriti Irani is not even a graduate,” triggering a political row, which until then had been fuelled online solely by her main detractor Madhu Purnima Kishwar, an Indian academic, and writer, who has been going hammer and tongs at Smriti Irani since the swearing-in.
In the past, Madhu Kishwar vociferously defended Narendra Modi both on Twitter and on television channels. Now, after the swearing-in, Kishwar seems to have taken on a new role of being his critic-in-chief.
Smriti Irani seemed unfazed by the drama. However, there is more to this controversy.
“Educated at Holy Child Auxilium, Delhi and School of Correspondence and Continuing Education, University of Delhi, Delhi.“
Smriti Irani has herself provided conflicting affidavits of her educational qualifications.
In 2004, in the affidavit filed with the Election Commission of India she submitted that she had received a bachelor’s degree in Arts (B.A.) in 1996 from Delhi University (School of Correspondence).
In the affidavit filed with the Election Commission of India for the recent 2014 elections Smriti Irani claimed that she only completed Part I (first year) of her bachelor’s degree in commerce (Part I B.Com.) in the year 1994 from Delhi University’s School of Open Learning (correspondence)..
To add venom, a leak from the School of Correspondence, as reported by a newspaper, claims that Smriti Irani had enrolled in 2013, but had not written the examination.
This incidence of doubts raised about Smriti Irani’s education leads to the perennial question “What is education?“
When knowledge, skills, and habits convey from one person to another through teaching, training, or research we call it education. So, we can say that education is any experience that has a developmental effect that leads to the way one thinks, feels, or acts.
By the way, do you think that all recipients of diplomas and college degrees are really educated?
At present, most people look at education as commonly divided into stages: preschool, primary school, secondary school and then college, university or apprenticeship under the guidance of others. But many do not freely acknowledge that education may also be autodidactic.
Autodidacticism or autodidactism or self-education is self-directed learning.
An autodidact is a self-teacher. Autodidactism is a contemplative and absorptive process. One may become an autodidact at any point in one’s life. While one may have studied a particular field in the conventional method they may choose to inform themselves in other, often unrelated areas by self-study.
Many autodidacts have complemented their formal learning with self-study. Though I have a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, I am an autodidact in computer science. Forty-two years ago, I was not able to find any teacher who could teach computer science. So, I spent a great deal of time reviewing the resources found in physical libraries and buying whatever books on computer science that I came across in search of knowledge. I always say: “To learn, teach!” I gained most of my knowledge in computers by following this dictum — teaching others who sought knowledge in basic computer science.
Though autodidactism is only one facet of learning, many autodidacts have made notable contributions to the human race. Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci is one of history’s best-known autodidacts.
Since most autodidacts do not advertise themselves, why not we consider Smriti Irani as one such person.
On May 19, 2014, Smriti Irani hit back at Congress leader Ajay Maken’s comments on her educational qualifications. She said,
“Judge me by my work, I would only say this… Attempts have been made to deviate my attention from my work. The party has always entrusted me with assignments as they have confidence in me.“
The late Kamaraj Nadar, former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, India, was a 3rd grader. He was a visionary and he opened hundreds of primary schools accessible to rural kids to improve the literacy rate in Tamilnadu.
The current Chief Minister of Tamilnadu J. Jayalalitha is a 10th grader (Matriculation). She is fluent in several languages, including English, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Hindi.
So, before you write off Smriti Irani as an ‘uneducated’ person, just listen to the speech she gave before an International audience at the International Women’s Conference in February 2014, at The Art of Living International Center, Bangalore, India, a few months before she was sworn-in as the Honourable Union Minister of Human Resource Development, and then form your opinion about her.
A woman of worth is the crown of her husband, but a disgraceful one is like rot in his bones. – Proverbs 12:4
The presence of near and dear ones, reception parties – large or small, and honeymoons, etc., most certainly enhance the pleasures of the occasion and the joy of a wedding.
But what is the ultimate goal of a marriage from a man’s viewpoint?
Universally, all men wish for a perfect wife. But what does one mean by a “perfect wife“? What are the qualities needed to be an ideal spouse? Many women do not know about it though most of the qualities of a perfect wife are already built into them and develops as she grows up.
In India, Neeti Saara or Neeti Sastra is a popular collection of morals written by Baddena, a 13th century Telugu poet, believed to be a Chola prince named Bhadra Bhupalan.
Baddena sums the six noble virtues an ideal wife should have in a verse as:
‘కార్యేషు దాసి, కరణేషు మంత్రి, భోజ్యేషు మాతా, రూపేచ లక్ష్మీ, శయనేషు రంభ, క్షమయా ధరిత్రీ… and so on.
Shat dharma yuktah Kula dharma Patni: A woman who has these six virtues is a good housewife.This indeed is a tall order! I do not think any woman in the 21st century would qualify as a perfect wife by meeting these six criteria.
In this age of sex equality, the women argue that these verses written by a man are chauvinistic. What will happen if a woman expects the following six qualities in a man?
Bhogeshu Raja: Rich like a king.
Vachaneshu Rama: Honest like Lord Rama.
Chaturasya Krishna: Intellectually smart like Lord Krishna.
Dhairyeshu Karna: Courageous like Karna.
Roopecha Indra: Handsome like Lord Indra.
Kaameshu Madana: Romantic like Madana Kamarajan.
Shatdharmayuktha manadharma Ramana: A man who has these six virtues is the dear husband.
If you are a man, do you think you can qualify as a perfect husband possessing these six qualities?
At full speed it took four hours for the RMS Carpathia, working her way through dangerous ice fields in the dark, to reach the RMS Titanic. When Carpathia arrived at the scene at 4 am on the morning of April 15, 1912, Titanic had already sunk. Carpathia took on around 700 survivors of the disaster from Titanic‘s lifeboats. It rescued the last of the survivors in the lifeboats by 9:15 am.
Out of the 2,224 people aboard RMS Titanic, 710 were saved, leaving 1,517 dead.
The figures below are from the British Board of Trade report on the disaster.
Children, First Class
Children, Second Class
Children, Third Class
Women, First Class
Women, Second Class
Women, Third Class
Men, First Class
Men, Second Class
Men, Third Class
Captain Edward Smith, Chief Officer Henry Wilde, First Officer William Murdoch, Thomas Andrews, the naval architect of RMS Titanic, Jack Phillips, the senior Marconi radio operator, were among those lost with the sinking ship.
Harold Bride after being picked up by the RMS Carpathia assisted Harold Cottam in dealing with a constant exchange of messages in the following hours.
Lifeboat 12 reached the RMS Carpathia at 8:30 am where Jack was reunited with his mother. A kind passenger on the Carpathia gave Jack his pajamas and a bunk to sleep. Later, Jack Thayer reflected that the brandy he had drunk on that day was his first shot of hard liquor.
After being picked up by the RMS Carpathia, Bruce Ismay was taken to the ship’s doctor, Frank Mcgee’s cabin. Ismay gave Captain Rostron a message to send to White Star Line’s New York office:
“Deeply regret advise you Titanic sank this morning after collision with iceberg, resulting in serious loss of life. Full particulars later.“
During the entire journey to New York on board RMS Carpathia, Ismay never left Dr. Mcgee’s cabin. He did not eat any solid food and had to be kept under the influence of opiates.
After visiting Ismay, Jack Thayer said:
“[Ismay] was staring straight ahead, shaking like a leaf. Even when I spoke to him, he paid absolutely no attention. I have never seen a man so completely wrecked.”
The RMS Carpathia finally reached New York on April 18, 1912. Guglielmo Marconi, visited his exhausted radio operators on board. He himself had plans to to cross the Atlantic on the ill-fated RMS Titanic, but had changed his plans. He arrived In New York on the RMS Lusitania.
After their arrival in New York, Jack Thayer, his mother and Miss Fleming took the Thayer’s private train carriage from Jersey City, NJ, back home to Haverford.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Jack Thayer took on banking. A few years later he was appointed Financial Vice-President and Treasurer of the University. He served as an artillery officer in the US Army during World War I. He married Lois Cassatt and they had two sons. Edward C. Thayer and John B. Thayer IV.
In 1940, conceivably, as an attempt to purge some of the memories that still haunted him, Jack Thayer produced a pamphlet relating his experiences with the Titanic’s sinking in vivid detail in a self-published pamphlet. Just 500 copies were printed exclusively for family and friends. Oceanographer Robert Ballard used the details of Jack Thayer to determine the location of the Titanic and proved that the ship had split in half as it sank, contrary to popular belief, as was finally confirmed when the wreck of the Titanic was discovered.
During World War II, both his sons enlisted in the armed services. In 1943, Edward Thayer was a bomber pilot in the Pacific theatre. After his plane was shot down, he was listed as missing and presumed dead. His body was never recovered. When the news of Edward’s death reached him, Jack Thayer, became extremely depressed.
On the 32nd remembrance day of the RMS Titanic‘s collision with the iceberg, Jack Thayer’s mother Marian died. The loss of his mother depressed him further.
On September 20, 1945, Jack Thayer committed suicide by cutting his throat and wrists in an automobile at 48th Street and Parkside Avenue in West Philadelphia.
He is buried at the Church of the Redeemer Cemetery, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
In New York, Bruce Ismay was hosted by Philip Franklin, vice-president of the company. Ismay also received a summons to appear before a Senate committee headed by Republican Senator William Alden Smith the following day and a few weeks later he appeared before the British Board of Trade chaired by Lord Mersey.
Bruce Ismay testified that as the ship was in her final moments, he was working at an oar, his back to the ship so as to avoid watching his creation sink beneath the waters of the North Atlantic. During the United States Inquiry he assured that all the vessels of the International Mercantile Marine Company would be equipped with lifeboats in sufficient numbers for all passengers.
After the inquiry, Ismay and the surviving officers of the RMS Titanic returned to England aboard RMS Adriatic. Ismay’s reputation was irreparably damaged and he maintained a low public profile after the disaster. London society ostracized Ismay for life and labelled him one of the biggest cowards in history.
The American and the British press the American and the British press Bruce Ismay for deserting the ship while women and children were still on board. Some newspapers, even conjectured that Ismay jumped into the boat, despite there being women still near the lifeboat. Some papers called him the “Coward of the Titanic” and others named him as “J. Brute Ismay” and suggested that the White Star flag be changed to a yellow liver.
Ben Hecht, then a young journalist in Chicago, wrote a scathing poem titled “Master and Man” for the Chicago Journal contrasting the actions of Captain Edward Smith, the master of RMS Titanic who had just gone to an icy grave with his ship along with a majority of its passengers, and J. Bruce Ismay, chairman and managing director of the White Star Line of steamship safe on the rescue ship RMS Carpathia.
Master and Man by Ben Hecht
The Captain stood where a Captain should For the Law of the Sea is grim; The Owner romped while the ship was swamped And no law bothered him. The Captain stood where the Captain should When a Captain’s ship goes down But the Owner led when the women fled, For an Owner must not drown. The Captain sank as a man of Rank, While his Owner turned away; The Captain’s grave was his bridge and brave, He earned his seaman’s pay. To hold your place in the ghastly face of Death on the Sea at Night Is a Seaman’s job, but to flee with the mob Is an Owner’s Noble Right.
However, some newspapers claimed Ismay’s escape was justified since he was a passenger just like any other passenger on board the RMS Titanic. Some journalists maintained that Ismay bound by the dictum, “Women and children first” assisted many women and children himself. At the inquiry Bruce Ismay and first-class passenger William Carter said they boarded Collapsible C lifeboat only after there were no more women and children near that lifeboat.
On June 30, 1913, Ismay resigned as president of International Mercantile Marine and chairman of the White Star Line, to be succeeded by Harold Sanderson.
The above news “J. Bruce Ismay Tells in Whispers How He Escaped Death By Leaving Sinking Titanic in Lifeboat With Women” in The Times Dispatch reminds me of an apocryphal account of how Violet Jessop got into the lifeboat:
Violet watched patiently as the crew members loaded the passengers on to lifeboat Later, they called out “Are there any more women before this boat goes out?”
Bruce Ismay, who had already got into the boat loaded with women saw Violet and said: “Come along; jump in.“
Violet replied: “I am only a stewardess.“
Ismay said: “Never mind – you are a woman; take your place.“
Just as the boat was being lowered, an officer of the Titanic gave her a baby to look after.
According to this unsubstantiated account Violet Jessop would have got into lifeboat C along with Bruce Ismay.
Violet Jessop, said later that while on board the RMS Carpathia, a woman without saying a word grabbed the baby Violet was holding and ran off with it; and many years after her retirement on a stormy night Violet received a telephone call from a woman who asked her if she saved a baby on the night the Titanic sank. When Violet replied “Yes,” the caller said, “I was that baby.”
When she told this to John Maxtone-Graham, her friend, and biographer, the latter said it would have been most likely some prankster. Violet replied, “No, John, I had never told that story to anyone before I told you now.”
The above account is a bit enigmatic. Some sources say that Violet Jessop escaped from the sinking Titanic on lifeboat 16. According to available records, the only baby in lifeboat 16 was 5-month-old Master Assad Alexander Thomas/Tannous who was handed over to 27-year-old Miss Edwina Celia Troutt. The infant was later reunited with his mother on the RMS Carpathia. Also, according to available records there were only two stewardesses on that lifeboat: 28-year-old Miss Evelyn Marsden and 41-year-old Mrs. Mary Kezia Roberts.
Many survivors lost all their possessions and became destitute. Many families, those of crew members from Southampton in particular, lost their principal breadwinners and were helped by charitable donations.
Videos taken at the wreck site of the Titanic by recent expeditions, show empty holes where the rivets gave way. Recent investigations by forensic experts reveal the rivets holding the steel plates are the real culprits leading to the Titanic catastrophe. Tests show flaws in the rivets used in the construction of Titanic. Inferior grade iron was used to manufacture the three million odd rivets that were used to hold the steel plates together.
After the demise of RMS Titanic, the SS Majestic was pressed back into service once again, filling the hole in the transatlantic schedule of White Star Line.
Even after the horrendous experience on RMS Titanic Violet Jessop continued to work as a stewardess on ocean-liners. Her next posting as a stewardess was on HMHS Britannica.
On Sunday, April 14, 1912, at 11:40 pm ship’s time, about 2,000 miles (3,200 km) from Queenstown and 375 miles (600 km) south of Newfoundland at 41°43’42″N 49°46’49″W, lookout Frederick Fleet spotted an iceberg directly ahead of the RMS Titanic and alerted the bridge. At that time, the ship was travelling near her maximum speed.
First Officer William McMaster Murdoch ordered the ship’s engines to be put in reverse to reduce speed and maneuver the vessel around the obstructing iceberg; but it was too late. The starboard side of the ship grazed the immense iceberg, creating a series of gashes below the waterline. The ship began to founder.
At 12:11 am on April 15, 1912, the radio operators Jack Phillips and Harold Bride sent out the first distress signal: “CQD CQD CQD CQD CQD CQD DE MGY MGY MGY MGY MGY MGY” from position 41°44’N 50°24’W, and continued sending the distress signal by wireless.
‘CQD’ transmitted in Morse code as – · – · – – · – – · · is one of the first distress signals adopted for radio use. It is understood by wireless operators to mean, “All stations: distress.” “DE” from French “for” and ‘MGY’ the call sign of Marconi’s wireless telegraph station aboard RMS Titanic.
The crew sent distress signals using rockets and Morse code lamp.
Unfortunately, the ships that responded to her distress call were not near enough to reach her in time.
On the night of Sunday, April 14, 1912, the RMS Carpathia (call sign MPA), a Cunard Line transatlantic passenger steamship commanded by Captain Arthur Henry Rostron, was sailing from New York City to Fiume, Austria-Hungary (now Rijeka, Croatia). Carpathia’s only wireless operator, Harold Cottam, received messages from Cape Race, Newfoundland, stating they had private traffic for the RMS Titanic’s Marconi Room. At 12:11 am on April 15, 1912, he sent a message to RMS Titanic stating that Cape Race had traffic for them. In reply he received the Titanic’s distress signal.
Cottam informed Captain Rostron who immediately set a course at maximum speed of 17 knots (20 mph; 31 km/h) to the Titanic’s last known position – approximately 58 miles (93 km) away. To make as much steam as possible available for the engines, the Captain ordered the cutoff of the ship’s heating and hot water. As RMS Carpathia raced from the southeast, it fired rockets to let RMS Titanic know that help was on the way.
The RMS Titanic was provided with innovative safety features such as watertight compartments and remotely activated watertight doors.
At the outset, to accommodate the luxury features in RMS Titanic, Bruce Ismay ordered the number of lifeboats reduced from 48 to 16, the latter being the minimum allowed by the Board of Trade, based on the Titanic’s projected tonnage. However, during the maiden voyage she carried a total of 20 lifeboats: 14 standard wooden Harland & Wolff lifeboats with a capacity of 65 people each and four Englehardt “collapsible” (wooden bottom, collapsible canvas sides) lifeboats (identified as A to D) with a capacity of 47 people each. In addition, she had two emergency cutters with a capacity of 40 people each. So, there were not enough lifeboats to accommodate all on board. Though there were 2,224 people, including the 908 crew members aboard the ship, there were lifeboats enough only for 1,758 people. The RMS Titanic was less than 75% full during her maiden voyage and had room for 1,000 more people.
Lifeboat No. 5
Violet Jessop wrote in her memoirs that she was “comfortably drowsy” in her bunk, but not quite asleep when the collision occurred.
The second boat lowered on the starboard side was lifeboat 5. Third Officer Pitman was sent in charge of the boat, having five other crew with him as well as two stewardesses – most probably Violet Jessop and her roommate Elizabeth Mary Leather. Passengers were still a bit reluctant to enter the boats at this time.
Violet Jessop wrote in her memoirs:
“I was ordered up on deck. Calmly, passengers strolled about. I stood at the bulkhead with the other stewardesses, watching the women cling to their husbands before being put into the boats with their children. Some time after, a ship’s officer ordered us into the boat first to show some women it was safe. As the boat was being lowered the officer called: ‘Here, Miss Jessop. Look after this baby.’ And a bundle was dropped onto my lap.”
There were probably 35 or 36 people in the boat when lowered. Lifeboat No. 5 was one of the first boats to reach the Carpathia.
The collapsible lifeboat C
Bruce Ismay was active on the starboard side all night, urging and assisting passengers into the lifeboats., more or less urging them to get away. Lifeboat No. 1, had left 20-30 minutes earlier. The collapsible lifeboat C had been fitted into a pair of empty davits, a system that is used to lower an emergency lifeboat to the embarkation level to be boarded. The davits had falls of manilla rope to lower the lifeboat into the water.
Ismay was standing close to the collapsible lifeboat C. Those near the boat were third class passengers – many from the Middle East.
Emily Alice Brown Goldsmith and her young son, Frank John William Goldsmith got into the boat with a few younger lady friends from England. After about 25 to 28 women and children had been assisted into the boat, five crew members were ordered in as well as Quartermaster George Rowe, who had been trying to contact ships in the vicinity by assisting with the Morse lamp and with firing rockets.
When there were few seats still free, Ismay and a first class passenger, William Ernest Carter, who had sent his family in lifeboat 4, got on to the lifeboat C as it was about to be lowered. Lifeboat C was probably lowered about 20 minutes before the RMS Titanic sank. It was the ninth and the last boat lowered on the starboard side.
While rowing away from the ship four Chinese third class passengers were discovered in the bottom of the boat and were taken into the lifeboat.
Lifeboat C had the capacity to hold 49 people. Mrs. Goldsmith thought there were 30 women, five crew members and four Chinese and her son in the boat while QM Rowe thought there were 39, and Bruce Ismay estimated between 40 and 45 in the boat. In all likelihood, there were just under 40 people in the boat. They did not pick up any more people from the cold sea and possibly reached the RMS Carpathia as the tenth or twelfth lifeboat.
Two weeks before boarding the RMS Titanic at Cherbourg as first class passengers on April 10, 1912, Second Vice-President of the Pennsylvania Railroad, 49-year-old John Borland Thayer from Haverford, Pennsylvania, his wife 39-year-old Marian Longstreth Thayer (née Morris) and their 17-year-old son John Borland (“Jack”) Thayer Jr. had been in Berlin as guests of the American Consul General and Mrs. Thackara.
At night on April 14, 1912, while preparing for bed in his cabin C-70 Jack Thayer noticed the breeze through his half-open porthole stop. Pulling an overcoat over his pajamas he called to his parents cabin C-68 that he was ‘going out to see the fun.’ Jack ran up on A deck on the port side, but could see nothing amiss. He went towards the bow where, as his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he could make out the ice on the forward well deck.
Jack Thayer returned to get his parents. They together went to the starboard side of A deck where the father thought he saw small pieces of ice floating around. As they crossed to the port side, they noticed that the ship had developed a list to port. They then returned to their room and dressed. Jack put on a tweed suit and vest with another mohair vest underneath in order to keep warm. Having put on life-belts, with overcoats on top, they went to the deck along with 48-year-old Miss Margaret Fleming, the personal maid of Marian Thayer.
When the order was given to women and children to board the boats, John and Jack said goodbye to Marian at the top of the grand staircase on A-Deck. While Marian and her maid went to the port side, John and Jack went to the starboard side.
A while after, the two men were surprised to learn from Chief Second Steward George Dodd that Marian and her maid were still on board. Reunited, John, Marion and Margaret went on ahead to find a boat. Jack lagged behind and finally lost them, perhaps he was talking to his friend Milton Clyde Long whom Jack had met for the first time, over coffee that evening; or perhaps he just got caught up in the crowd.
Jack searched for his parents for a while, but then, presuming they had probably got into a boat he went forward on the starboard side accompanied by Milton Long.
The boats were leaving rapidly and the crowds were large. The two young men stood by the empty davits of a lifeboat that had left. Here, close to the bridge they watched a star through the falls of the davit to measure the rate at which the ship was going down.
As the ship began to sink more rapidly and deeper, Jack, a strong swimmer, wanted to jump into the sea as others were doing towards the stern. However, Long persuaded Jack against it. Eventually, as they could not wait anymore, saying goodbye to each other, they jumped up on the rail.
Long put his legs over and inquired,, “You are coming, boy, aren’t you?”
Jack replied “Go ahead, I’ll be with you in a minute.”
Long then slid down the side of the ship. Jack never saw him again.
Jack then jumped out, feet first. He surfaced well clear of the ship, he felt he was pushed away from the ship by some force.
Later on, Jack Thayer reminisced about the terrifying plunge:
“I was pushed out and then sucked down. The cold was terrific. The shock of the water took the breath out of my lungs. Down and down, I went, spinning in all directions. Swimming as hard as I could in the direction which I thought to be away from the ship, I finally came up with my lungs bursting, but not having taken any water.”
At 2:20 am, two hours and forty minutes after the Titanic smashed into the iceberg and drifting to the south at a rate of one knot per hour equating to a 2.66 mile drift, sea water gushed in through open hatches and grates; her forward deck dipped under water and she started sinking rapidly. After In two hours time after, the ship broke in two and sank. All remaining passengers and crew were plunged into lethally cold water around 28°F (−2°C). Even young and fit people would not last longer than 15 minutes in such a temperature. Almost all of those in the water died from hypothermia within 15–30 minutes.
Jack Thayer reminisced about the sinking:
“The ship seemed to be surrounded with a glare, and stood out of the night as though she were on fire…. The water was over the base of the first funnel. The mass of people on board were surging back, always back toward the floating stern. The rumble and roar continued, with even louder distinct wrenchings and tearings of boilers and engines from their beds. Suddenly the whole superstructure of the ship appeared to split, well forward to midship, and bow or buckle upwards. The second funnel, large enough for two automobiles to pass through abreast, seemed to be lifted off, emitting a cloud of sparks It looked as if it would fall on top of me. It missed me by only twenty or thirty feet. The Suction of it drew me down and down struggling and swimming, practically spent…
“This time I was sucked down, and as I came up I was pushed out again and twisted around by a large wave, coming up in the midst of a great deal of small wreckage. As I pushed my hand from my head it touched the cork fender of an overturned lifeboat. I looked up and saw some men on the top and asked them to give me a hand. One of them, who was a stoker, helped me up. In a short time the bottom was covered with about twenty-five or thirty men. When I got on this I was facing the ship.”
As Jack Thayer and the other survivors balanced precariously on the upturned Collapsible lifeboat B, the cries of those swimming in the water came to them. It sounded to Jack just like the high-pitched hum of locusts back home in Pennsylvania.
“Her deck was turned slightly toward us. We could see groups of the almost fifteen hundred people aboard, clinging in clusters or bunches, like swarming bees; only to fall in masses, pairs or singly, as the greater part of the ship, two hundred and fifty feet of it, rose into the sky, till it reached a sixty-five or seventy degree angle. Here it seemed to pause, and just hung, for what felt like minutes. Gradually she turned her deck away from us, as though to hide from our sight the awful spectacle.
“I looked upwards – we were right under the three enormous propellers. For an instant, I thought they were sure to come down on top of us. Then, with the deadened noise of the bursting of her last few gallant bulkheads, she slid quietly away from us into the sea.”
Of the last moments, Violet Jessop wrote:
“… one awful moment of empty, misty darkness…then an unforgettable, agonizing cry went up from 1500 despairing throats, a long wail and then silence…“
Violet and the rest of the survivors remained in the boats all night.
Violet Jessop said that it was her habit to breathe in fresh air on deck before retiring for the night. Regarding the fourth day of sailing on Titanic she wrote:
“If the sun did fail to shine so brightly on the fourth day out, and if the little cold nip crept into the air as evening set in, it only served to emphasize the warmth and luxuriousness within.“
From the second day on, after leaving Southampton on its maiden voyage, RMS Titanic received reports of ice from ships passing through, or stopped due to heavy ice in the region she would be sailing to New York. On the 11th she received six warnings, on 12th five, on 13th three, and on 14th six. As a matter of fact, the Marconi room of RMS Titanic relayed some of the warnings to the shore.
As a routine, all these messages would have been logged in the radio book as they were received or intercepted and passed on to the officers on the bridge. So, it is unlikely that Captain Edward Smith and his officers, would have been unaware of the dangerous ice that was lying directly in the path of the ship.
Here are the messages received or intercepted on Sunday, April 14, 1912 – four days into the crossing:
At 9:00 am (“Titanic” time), RMS Caronia (call sign MSF), a Cunard Line ocean liner, Eastbound New York to Liverpool, sent an ice warning message to RMS Titanic:
“Captain, ‘Titanic.’ – Westbound steamers report bergs, growlers and field ice in 42°N from 49° to 51°W, 12th April. Compliments. – Barr.”
Action taken: This message referred to bergs, growlers and field ice sighted on April 12, 1912 – at least 48 hours before the time of transmitting the message. At the time this message was received RMS Titanic was at 43°35’N, 43°50’W. Captain Smith acknowledged the receipt of this message and posted it for his officers to read.
At about 8 am on April 14, 1912, Greek steamer Athinai (call sign MTI) belonging to the Hellenic Transatlantic Steam Navigation Company, Westbound from Piraues and Mediterranean ports to New York, encountered a large ice field containing several large bergs. During the morning she sent an ice advisory to RMS Baltic, an ocean liner of the White Star Line, Eastbound New York to Liverpool.
At 1:42 pm, RMS Baltic (call sign MBC) relayed this report to its sister ship RMS Titanic:
“Captain Smith, ‘Titanic.’ – Have had moderate, variable winds and clear, fine weather since leaving. Greek steamer ‘Athinai’ reports passing icebergs and large quantities of field ice today in lat. 41°51′ N., long. 49° 52′ W. Last night we spoke German oiltank steamer ‘Deutschland,’ Stettin to Philadelphia, not under control, short of coal, lat. 40° 42′ N., long. 55° 11′ W. Wishes to be reported to New York and other steamers. Wish you and ‘Titanic’ all success. – Commander.”
Action taken: At the time this message was received the RMS Titanic was at about 42°35’N, 45°50W. Captain Edward Smith acknowledged the receipt of this message.
Captain Smith showed the message to J. Bruce Ismay, the Managing Director of the White Star Line, on board the RMS Titanic on her maiden voyage to let him know that ice was to be expected that night. The latter pocketed the message and showed it later to two ladies; and of course many people on board became aware of its contents. At 7:15 pm, Captain Smith asked for its return, when it was finally posted in the chart room.
At 11:20 am, the German steamer SS Amerika, belonging to the Hamburg America Line of Germany, Eastbound, New York to Hamburg sent an ice advisory telegram message to the Hydrographic Office in Washington, DC via RMS Titanic because Titanic was nearer to Cape Race, to which station it had to be relayed to reach Washington. Here is a facsimile of the message:
Action taken: The location of the bergs 41°27’N, 50°08’W was 12.5 miles from where the RMS Titanic later sank. The message does not mention at what hour the bergs had been observed. However, as a message affecting navigation, it should have been taken to the bridge. The two Marconi operators on board Titanic were 25-year-old John George Phillips, better known as “Jack Phillips”, and his Deputy, 22-year-old Harold Sydney Bride. Maybe Phillips waited until the ship would be within call of Cape Race (at about 8:00 or 8:30 pm). No one on board the RMS Titanic knew about this message outside the Marconi room.
The SS Californian, a tramp steamer of The Leyland Line, transporting cargo to whichever port wanted it, commanded by Captain Stanley Lord, left London on April 5, 1912, and was on her way to Boston, Massachusetts. Although she was certified to carry up to 47 passengers, she carried none during this trip. She had a crew of 55 men. At 6:30 pm she sighted three bergs to her southward, 15 miles (24 km) north of the course the RMS Titanic was heading.
At 7:30 pm, Cyril Evans, the only wireless operator of the SS Californian (call sign MWL), sent a wireless message of the ship’s position to their sister ship SS Antillian:
“To Captain, ‘Antillian’, 6.30 pm apparent ship’s time; lat. 42°3’N, long. 49°9’W. Three large bergs five miles to southward of us. Regards. – Lord.”
Action taken: Harold Bride, the other wireless operator on RMS Titanic intercepted the message, but delivered it to the ship’s bridge only at 10:20 pm. Later, Bride said that he could not remember to whom he delivered this message.
.At 9:40 pm, the Marconi station of the MV Mesaba (call sign MMU) belonging to the Atlantic Transport Line sent the following message:
“From ‘Mesaba’ to ‘Titanic’ and all eastbound ships. Ice report in lat. 42°N to 41°25’N, long. 49° to long. 50°30’W. Saw much heavy pack ice and great number large icebergs. Also field ice. Weather good, clear.”
Action taken: This message clearly indicated the presence of ice in the immediate vicinity of the RMS Titanic and was not delivered to the deck or to any of the officers.
This message never left the Titanic’s radio room because the wireless set had broken down the day before, resulting in a backlog of messages that the two radio operators Jack Phillips and Harold Bride were trying to clear. At the time time this message reached Titanic’s radio room an exhausted radio operator Harold Bride was getting some much needed sleep. Phillips may have failed to grasp the significance of the message as he was preoccupied with transmitting and receiving messages for passengers via the relay station at Cape Race, Newfoundland.
At Longitude 42°05’N, 50°07’W, a position to the south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, SS Californian was confronted by a large ice field. Captain Stanley Lord decided to halt the ship at 10:21 pm and wait until morning to proceed further.
Around 11 pm, Lord saw a light in the east, but thought it could be a rising star.
At 11:10 pm Third Officer C.V. Groves on deck, also saw the lights of a ship 10 or 12 miles away. To him, it was clearly a large liner as he saw brightly lit multiple decks. Fifteen minutes later Groves informed Captain Lord of what he saw.
They tried to contact the other ship using a Morse lamp, but did not see any reciprocal reply. The Captain then asked his wireless operator Evans if he knew of any ships in the area. Evans said: “only the Titanic.” Captain Lord instructed Evans to call RMS Titanic and inform her that the Californian was stopped, surrounded by ice.
When Evans tried to convey the message the RMS Titanic‘s on-duty wireless operator, Jack Phillips, was busy working on a large backlog of personal messages sent and received from the wireless station at Cape Race, Newfoundland. The relative proximity of SS Californian made signals sent from it loud in Phillips’ headphones. So, Phillips rebuked Evans with: “Shut up, shut up! I am busy; I am working Cape Race!”
Evans waited and at 11:30 pm when he did not receive any reply from Phillips he switched off the wireless and went to bed.
Violet Jessop was a firm believer in the power of prayer. As a devout Catholic she always had a rosary in her apron. In her memoirs, Violet says she had taken along with her belongings a copy of a translated Hebrew prayer that an old Irish woman had given her. On that fateful day, after settling down in her bunk she read the strangely worded prayer supposed to protect one who read it against fire and water. Then, she persuaded her roommate, a stewardess (according to editor John Maxtone- Graham, possibly Elizabeth Leather) to read it.